An interesting double-header is set to kick off the second half of the season after the All-Star break. Keep an eye out for the battle between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs at 9:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines.
Ranked 7th and 8th in the Western conference, a win against the other should help both teams’ playoff chances.
The Mavericks headed into the midseason break on a high note, winning eight of their last 10 games including an ongoing three-game win streak. Luka Doncic, who is coming off a second straight All-Star appearance, was inactive in their last game but is expected to play against the Spurs.
Big man Kristaps Porzingis, meanwhile, has been proving his value to the team. After battling injuries in the early part of the season, Porzingis was quick to shut down critics with his recent performance, capping it off with double-double outputs in their last two games.
While the Mavericks are constantly in the spotlight, the Spurs seem to be quietly making their way to the top.
The Spurs’ defensive (19th) and offensive (20th) league rankings make them a fairly average team. However, main man DeMar DeRozan has been keeping the team afloat. He top-scores for San Antonio, averaging 20.0 points alongside 4.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists this season.
Unfortunately, it’s DeRozan’s inconsistency that has been keeping the Spurs from continuously rising. He dropped a season-high 32 points against the New Orleans Pelicans, but also scored a mere five points against the Memphis Grizzlies. Even with a decent team to back him up, he needs to figure out how to perform like the All-Star that he once was to help the Spurs become a serious contender yet again.
Overall, these two teams need to pick up the pace if they want to secure a playoff position. Nothing is certain at this point with almost half the teams in the Western Conference being less than 5 games away from one another.
Both the Mavs and the Spurs need to get more solid runs to improve their chances, and opening the second half of the season with a W will surely help their cause.